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When the incumbent prime minister took office a while ago and within a few weeks of being in the hot seat, he began reading the Riot Act on some practices in the government machinery, which he and his team probably felt are some of the litany of factors contributing to the dire fiscal challenges. We all applauded with the hope that finally, things will take a turn for the better, sincerely convinced that this time around we will see action and a committed political will to tackle head-on the rot sinking the government ship.

Barely six months into office by the new Cabinet, the nation’s hopes for a reprieve from the perennial abject lives engulfing almost everyone - except of course, for the status quo - are gradually being eroded, especially after the perplexing tax increases announced during the Budget Speech tabled by Finance Minister Neal Rijkenberg.

Harsh tax

Almost everyone was unanimous in condemning the harsh tax increases especially on crucial commodities like electricity and fuel. Increases on the two will have dire consequences on the already burdened taxpayer, who is swimming in a cesspool of hardship. These increases will not only make the hapless and up-in-arms taxpayers relentlessly swim in a cesspool of poverty, but will make certain that they drown and never to rise to the surface - ever.
We do not know the rationale behind the premier and his team arriving at such a callous and harsh tax increase decision, but make no mistake about it, taxing people to poverty are one of the acts any smart government will do all in its power to avoid.


Naturally, taxes - like death - are two unavoidable acts people abhor with a passion and will do all in their power to avoid - in vain. But Mr Prime Minister Sir, including your Finance minister, if I may humbly enquire, were you in the right and sane frame of mind when you resolved to take such a harsh decision? Did you thoroughly consider the reaction from the people when you decided to resuscitate the economy, making part of the ‘hard decisions to be taken’ being to increase taxes, at the expense of a nation already drowning in a cesspool of poverty? It is not too late to reconsider.

My advice to you and company is: Do not alienate yourselves from the people. The financial challenges facing almost everyone are hitting hard on the pocket. You need the nation on your side. You still have a long road ahead of you to travel. Don’t make it a lonely journey.


Let me not bore you but move on and make a few suggestions. I am keenly following extracts from the Auditor General’s quarterly report. It makes one weep. A lot of money, judging from the AG’s report, is lost through shady, careless or downright corrupt accounting procedures, lax adherence to procedures and the lack or reluctance to follow up and take action on the AG’s recommendations.

My suggestions are twofold. Either consider outsourcing the accounting system mechanism to a private entity, pay them for their services or reshuffle the long serving principal secretaries and controlling officers. If push comes to a shove, offer them early voluntary retirement, hire new blood and see how things will turn out. Judging from the AG’s report, millions upon millions are lost either through fraud, carelessness in accounting procedures, outright theft and collusion with whomever, to manipulate procedures and/or systems.

The long serving people in many departments may be an asset but at the same time be a liability.
Finally, kindly and urgently look into the issue of the Asian invasion or influx in our kingdom. It is a ticking time bomb. The allegations of the existence of an Asian mafia and the capturing of our police by these people makes us uncomfortable, and very afraid. They are spreading into all nooks and crannies of the kingdom. Be wary of the agenda of the undesirables among their lot.

The sex abuse allegations of our sisters or mothers have touched a raw nerve. The nation is angry. We warned government many moons ago to curb the influx. They are now showing their true colours. The colours are ominous and foreboding.

There are without any shadow of doubt, good cops, it is the rogue elements – the ‘captured’ ones -  who are dangerous. The can of worms allegedly opened by the concerned Muslim community, needs urgent investigation - before it is too late. We love our country. We are eager Mr Prime Minister to help you root out corruption - provided there is that political will.

Alex Nxumalo

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